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Oncology Rehabilitation: Optimizing Function for Cancer Survivors

presented by Suzänne Taylor PhD

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Suzanne Taylor receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Suzanne Taylor has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Advances in oncology care have led to greater numbers of cancer survivors living much longer after diagnosis. Unfortunately cancer and cancer treatments can negatively impact literally every aspect of the person including physiological, physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Additionally, long-term and sometimes persistent lingering effects decrease performance abilities and overall quality of life. Rehabilitation professionals play a key role in mitigating the effects of cancer and cancer treatments and improving outcomes. In this course, Dr. Suzänne Taylor explains how oncology clinical practice guidelines and standards support the involvement of rehabilitation from diagnosis through survivorship, advanced disease and end-of-life. She provides recommendations for the focus of therapy interventions based upon cancer treatments, anticipated physiological responses and disease state.

Meet Your Instructor

Suzänne Taylor PhD, MBA, OTR/L

Suzänne Taylor, PhD, MBA, OTR/L, has extensive experience in oncology rehabilitation including providing direct therapy interventions and presenting on state, regional, and national levels. Dr. Taylor has dedicated her career to furthering oncology rehabilitation education, research, and program development. Her clinical practice included working in areas of surgical oncology, otolaryngology, hematology and medical oncology, bone…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The Need of Rehabilitation for Cancer Survivors

The numbers of individuals living beyond a diagnosis of cancer continue to grow due in part to advances in cancer treatment and improved methods for earlier detection. Current estimates place the number of cancer survivors in the United States at nearly 19 million by 2024. In this chapter Dr. Taylor explains the wide range of impacts from cancer and cancer treatments and the need for ongoing health management for cancer survivors. She then discusses the need for comprehensive oncology rehabilitation programming consisting of interdisciplinary teams of oncology-trained professionals.

2. Oncology Rehabilitation and Survivorship

In this chapter Dr. Taylor explains survivorship, survivorship care plans and oncology standards of care, all of which support rehabilitation services for cancer survivors. Recognizing that there are limited numbers of comprehensive oncology rehabilitation programming, Dr. Taylor provides recommendations on how individual therapy practitioners may begin making a difference now for cancer survivors.

3. Therapy Practice in Oncology

In this chapter Dr. Taylor explains key points for therapy practitioners who practice in oncology or who provide services for cancer survivors including the importance of performance status and continued daily physical activity. Dr. Taylor also explains the risk of psychosocial disruption and oncologic emergencies.

4. Oncology Rehabilitation: Focuses Along the Continuum

Research and clinical practice guidelines support the involvement of rehabilitation in oncology from diagnosis through survivorship, advanced disease, and end-of-life. It is important for rehabilitation practitioners to understand when to shift focuses of treatment plans. In this chapter Dr. Taylor explains prehabilitation, or therapy beginning at diagnosis and prior to cancer treatments. She provides recommendations on the focus of therapy during cancer treatments, after cancer treatments have ended, and in advanced stage. She concludes this section with a case example of rehabilitation provided for an individual in advanced stage.

More Courses in this Series

Understanding Cancer: Foundational Knowledge for Therapists

Presented by Suzänne Taylor PhD, MBA, OTR/L

Understanding Cancer: Foundational Knowledge for Therapists

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
When treating cancer survivors, it is necessary to have a foundational understanding of oncology. Beginning with a history of cancer and an overview of etiologies, Dr. Suzänne Taylor provides definitions of basic oncology terminology and explains how cancers are classified and staged. This information is necessary for clinicians to understand where their clients are on the trajectory of the cancer diagnosis and what treatment(s) they may have received or may yet receive. Resources are included for clinicians to remain current with their knowledge of oncology.

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Cancer Treatments and Side Effects: What Therapists Need to Know

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Cancer Treatments and Side Effects: What Therapists Need to Know

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Clinicians who work with cancer survivors must have an understanding of how cancer and the associated treatments cause a changing trajectory of physical and cognitive abilities. In this course, Dr. Suzänne Taylor provides an overview of cancer treatments and the commonly associated side effects. Along with the impact of cancer on an individual's psychosocial well-being, Dr. Taylor provides examples of how functional abilities may rapidly change. This course strengthens the clinician's ability to anticipate changes in function and appropriately adjust therapy goals and interventions.

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Oncologic Emergencies: Considerations for Therapists

Presented by Suzänne Taylor PhD, MBA, OTR/L

Oncologic Emergencies: Considerations for Therapists

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Oncologic emergencies are defined as an acute and potentially life-threatening event caused by cancer or the associated treatments. While some of these may take months to develop, others may manifest in just hours. With the improved ability to provide outpatient cancer treatments, oncologic emergencies are no longer isolated to the hospital setting. This means regardless of the practice setting, the therapist may be the one to identify the developing oncologic emergency. In this course, Dr. Suzänne Taylor discusses signs and symptoms of oncologic emergencies. She details how therapists can identify early signs and symptoms and how to facilitate risk reduction in certain oncologic emergencies.

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Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Quiet & Lingering Thief of Function

Presented by Suzänne Taylor PhD, MBA, OTR/L

Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Quiet & Lingering Thief of Function

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Research shows that nearly all cancer survivors experience a type of fatigue that does not easily resolve, is chronic in nature, and negatively impacts their physical and cognitive tolerance for activities. This fatigue is referred to as cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Left untreated, CRF may lead to depression, permanent decrease in physical and/or cognitive abilities, and an overall lower quality of life. In this course Dr. Suzanne Taylor provides detailed information on CRF including the understood causes, the known impacts, assessment, and recommended treatment interventions.

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Cancer-Related Cognitive Dysfunction: Addressing the Impacts

Presented by Suzänne Taylor PhD, MBA, OTR/L

Cancer-Related Cognitive Dysfunction: Addressing the Impacts

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Often described as having difficulty with paying attention or concentration, difficulty with short-term memory, and feeling forgetful, cancer-related cognitive dysfunction (CRCD) affects up to 75% of cancer survivors. Up to 35% of these individuals may experience persistent cognitive impairment for months or years following treatment. In this course Dr. Suzänne Taylor details how CRCD impacts activity performance, emotional well-being, and interpersonal relationships. She then explains how therapists are best able to screen, assess the impact, evaluate, and treat those with CRCD based upon our current understanding of CRCD, current guidelines, and suspected contributing factors.

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